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Hot Chocolate is the ultimate wintery treat and what better way to serve it than with a decadent BUILD YOUR OWN HOT COCOA BAR. This board is great for any age and one of my favorites from THE CHEESE BOARD DECK (on sale now). Grab yours and make it your go-to gift.
P.S. Check out my Spiked Hot Chocolate Board for an adult twist.
Best Hot Chocolate Bar ToppingsJump to Recipe
Obviously you’ll include marshmallows and whipped cream. But there are so many other fun ingredients to put out that can be dipped in your hot chocolate, or nibbled on while you sip.
See full ingredients list in recipe at bottom of this post. But here are some general ways to think about your shopping list.
- The Essentials: Hot cocoa mix. You don’t want to forget that part
- Syrups and Spreads: whipped cream and various syrups do the trick. Use these squeeze bottles to serve syrups.
- Toppings: a variety of Marshmallows are key, but add in other items like sprinkles and chocolate chips.
- Dipping Treats: Beyond cookies, items like chocolate peppermint swizzle sticks and rolled wafer cookies are super fun!
- Other Sweets: this is a dessert board afterall, so any items that are yummy and festive to snack on. Peppermint bark is a must.
When To Serve a DIY Hot Chocolate Bar Board
The winter holidays are a no brainer when it comes to hot chocolate. I can see this board being perfect for…
- Christmas morning
- Christmas Eve
- A cookie swap
- Tree decorating or gift wrapping party
- Crafting day
- Pre-party to a neighborhood walk to gaze at lights
- Girls night
- Valentines Day (or Galentines, duh). See also this Valentine’s Dessert Board for inspo.
- Kids slumber party. See also this Beach-themed Candy Board.
- Adult movie night. See also this Movie Candy Board.
- A winter baby shower. See also this Girls Baby Shower Board.
Alternatives for This Hot Chocolate Dessert Idea
Not having a big gathering? Given covid restrictions you can absolutely scale this board down to serve a few people. I suggest picking your favorite four or five toppings only. It will still feel special and you won’t have a lot of leftovers.
Want to make this into a gift? The ingredients here would be super adorable boxed up as holiday cheer care packages. See my Cheese Boxes for inspiration on how to build food boxes as gifts. You can include your favorite hot chocolate mix and a recipe card for whipped cream.
Need vegan or alternative ingredients? This board is so adaptable. There are plenty of dairy-free options for hot cocoa, whipped topping, and milk alternatives. Just be sure to label everything well so that no one has an unexpected surprise.
How to Make Delicious Whipped Cream
Ultimately making whipped cream requires one step: beat heavy whipping cream until it’s the consistency you want. Adding a small splash of vanilla and two or three tablespoons of sugar will make it perfect.
The best advice I can give about making great whipped cream is to keep it cold. Use a metal bowl that’s been in the freezer. You can even put the cream in the freezer for a minute, just don’t let it form any ice chunks.
PRO TIP: Do not over whisk. Stop when you have a stiff but spoonable mixture. If you keep whisking, you’ll end up making butter, which is not a very cute hot chocolate accessory!
Show Me Your Hot Cocoa Boards
I hope this post inspires you to create delicious boards. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the beautiful spreads you create from my tips. If you make a board inspired by this post, please tag @ainttoooproudtomeg and #AintTooProudToSweet so I can see and share!
And, If you liked this recipe, please rate and review.
Photos by Haley Hunt Davis.
Build Your Own Hot Chocolate Board
- Hot Cocoa Mix
- Whipped Cream (See blog post)
- Caramel Syrup
- Chocolate Syrup
- Various Marshmallows (Regular, Snowflake & Mini)
- Various Sprinkles (Rainbow & Chocolate)
- Various Chocolate Chips (White, Milk, Butterscotch, Dark)
- Crushed Peppermint
- Crème Filled Wafer Cookies (Chocolate & Strawberry)
- Meringues (Vanilla & Strawberry)
- Chocolate Peppermint Swizzle sticks
- Rolled Wafer Cookies (Chocolate & Strawberry)
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Double Chocolate Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Star Cookies
- Crêpe Wafer Cookies
- Peppermint Bark
- Yogurt-Covered Pretzel Balls
- Salted Chocolate Caramels